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Prepaid Cards to help Kids learn to Shop!

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When it comes to shopping the truth is my daughter doesn’t quite “get it”. Oh, dont get me wrong, she loves to shop. She has no issues whatsoever to go from shelf to shelf with “we should get this one” and her heart is big ebough that it knows no boundries to what she purchases for who.

But my wallet…oh, it has boundaries. Lot’s of them.

And no amount of chores could every really explain to her how to work the budget. After all, she is only 8.

So this year when it came to holiday shopping we did something a bit different. We gave her a prepaid card by One Vanilla with $100 on it and let her have a jumping off point to figure out her holiday list.  My husband actually took her shopping for gifts and he said while she was still back and forth on WHAT to buy, she was a lot more prepared on her limitations of those purchases.

OneVanilla is a prepaid debit card that lets consumers add any amount between $20-$500 onto the card, which can then be used anywhere Visa is accepted.  The idea is to use this prepaid card as a way to safely manage holiday spending.  You can use this card as you shop, or this may be a great exercise for parents of teens or tweens who don’t want to simply hand over cash and credit cards to their kids as they head to the mall for holiday shopping.

 Prepaid debit cards like OneVanilla allow consumers who want to give themselves, or their children, a safer alternative to cash to load a specified amount onto the card and purchase their gifts within this holiday budget.   You or your children will never be able to overspend, and if the card is lost, it can be frozen and a new one with the funds on it is provided.  It can also be a way to teach kids, who will likely pay via digital means when they’re older, responsible spending.

Now one of the things I really like about the OneVanilla card is that it can be used for debit or credit transactions. You can also purchase cards that are reloadable so your kids can start earning their allowance without giving them full on access to your bank account – perfect for your children that are still learning.


I did want to mention something though that many people dont think of when they use prepaid or gift cards. While I love them for a variety of purchases and to keep on par with what you want to spend, and also to give as gifts when you are unsure of what to buy, keep in mind that if you purchase something that requires a REFUND, that many retailers will put the balance back on the card – even if it was a gift card. Take care not to just toss them out but rather wrap them up with the receipt. I had this happen at a furniture store one year where I used some left over gift cards for a portion of the balance and the store didn’t actually have the item in stock. They refunded the gift cards and the gift cards were tossed at the store after usage. It took a VERY long time to get it all straightened out and to get my money back so word to the wise- keep those cards!

OneVanilla has a three varieties of Gift Cards you can choose from.

one vanilla prepaid card

I do think its easy to get out of control with holiday spending if you are not careful.

I think this upcoming year I should budget out a specific amount each month to put towards the holidays at the end of the year, purchase a preloaded amount and put it aside. Then at the end of the year only use what I have accumulated. This year my holiday spending (and gifts from PR/blog post) are making my tree look like Santa Clause moved in his workshop!

I wish I could share more pictures in this post of gifts and of shopping. But Charlotte bought for me (so I cant see that) and I bought for all of them and they could all see this, so unfortunately I am going to have to update this in the future.

How do you help your kids budget for the holidays?


OneVanilla sent a preloaded card for $100 to assist Charlotte in shopping for the facilitation of this article.

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  1. My son’s only two, but I’m not looking forward to having to figure out how to teach him how to budget. Mom isn’t very good at budgeting herself! ;)

  2. This is a great idea. My kids have no concept of money and this would be very helpful in teaching them to learn to budget.

  3. I love this idea! Each year I keep wanting to have my kids buy for each other, but it’s hard to get each one alone so they can do it.

  4. What a great idea! The sooner kids learn about money and good spending habits the better.

  5. My son is 12 is a whip in math and I still would never let him loose in a store. He loves shopping and always comes along with me when I shop. I tend to spoil him, but my hubby is always teaching him about spending, budgeting and such so I don’t feel so bad.

  6. My son is 11 and is getting it down, now. :) My husband took him shopping for me and said that he spent $22 of his own money (that he saved up all year) on top of the budgeted money my husband gave him for shopping. Sigh. Anyhoo, I love this idea… a great way to keep kids/teens (and adults) on budget.

  7. My 7 year old doesn’t know how budgeting works no matter many times I explain it to him (he believes that I am rich, lol), so hopefully he will learn sooner or later! But anyways, I love the idea of having a prepaid card. It definitely keeps one from overspending.

  8. What a fantastic idea! My 7 year old loves the experience of buying gifts for our family at Christmas – but has no concept of budget limitations. This would be a cool way to take him shopping and educate whilst having fun!

  9. What a great idea. I love that she is learning the value of money.

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